Archbishop Lefebvre: 1985 Sermon - The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (in three Parts)
The Angelus - June 1985
Archbishop Lefebvre Ordination Sermon: Three Deacons and Four Priests
19 May 1985 at Ridgefield

My dear brethren,

We are reunited here anew for this magnificent ceremony of ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood; and this in a liturgical time that coincides perfectly with these moving ceremonies. Indeed, Our Lord, after His Resurrection, spent forty days with His Apostles to prepare them for the descent of the Holy Ghost, and for the exercise of their priesthood; and then He ascended into heaven. During this time the Apostles awaited the coming of the Holy Ghost, and were united around the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room to receive the sacerdotal consecration which would make them missionaries—apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this environment also, my dear friends, that you will receive the priesthood; you will be filled anew of the Holy Ghost to preach the realm of God; because it is on this notion above all that Our Lord Jesus Christ insists: to preach the Realm of God, Regnum Dei. I would like, during these moments, to insist on the program of your priestly life which is realized in an admirable manner in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Lord giving us, transmitting to us His Sacrifice, wanted at the same time for us, priests, this Sacrifice to become the ideal of our priestly life, and at the same time the source of all the grace that you need to become an ideal priest.

The Apostles have said this phrase which sums up the definitive sacerdotal ideal: "Nos autem praedicatione verbi et oratione instantes erimus—we, priests of Jesus Christ, we will be particularly occupied and destined to prayer and to preaching the Word of God." And it is that which definitively represents and which is in reality the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

One may recapitulate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in three parts. The first is the preaching of the Faith, from the beginning of the Mass up to and including the Creed. The priest devotes himself to deepening his own faith and to preaching the Gospel. My dear friends, what a magnificent role, what a splendid ministry Our Lord has given us! To communicate the Faith, to believe in the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ! That is the synthesis of all our preaching: to communicate to souls this profound faith in the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and hence in all this which has realized the Son of God on earth to save our souls, to unite us with Him.

You will preach this Faith that you have studied long and meditated upon during the six years of seminary; you will preach it to children in the catechism. You will try to communicate to these souls of children the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the veneration of Our Lord. Jesus loved the children. He loved to bless them. He loved to see them approach Him, and he even said that if one wished to enter heaven, he must be like these children. You will also love the children, to speak to them of Our Lord, to lead them on the way to heaven. And then you will preach to the adults by all the means at your disposal today. One must admit that we have more means today than in the past to make known the Word of the Gospel: by writing, and even by the radio, by all the occasions we are given, by the rapidity of our travel, speed which permits us to attend well the faithful as was not possible in the past. So the modern means can be put at our disposition to communicate the Faith, preserve in the Faith those who have received it. That is the great task, more particularly today when atheism is everywhere, when the sects spread errors on the subject of the Catholic Faith. You will preach courageously and firmly the Catholic Faith in its integrity. That is what the first part of your Holy Mass represents. And you will rely in your preaching on Tradition particularly, and the Scriptures which communicate to us Revelation, which communicates to us this fundamental revelation of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May God help you, May the Holy Ghost enlighten you in your preaching and in the diffusion of the Faith that you will preach so as to convince those who will hear you and to give them this desire to unite themselves to Our Lord and to better know Him.

When the Apostles said that they will give themselves to prayer, it seems to me that the two other parts of the Mass, that which goes from the Credo until after the Pater Noster, and that which follows the Pater Noster, are summed up in prayer, are a great prayer. Particularly the second part which has as its center, like its summit, the Consecration which is the re-enactment of the Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross.

The Cross of Jesus was His great prayer, His offering: could He have had a prayer more pleasing to His Father than His divine Sacrifice, His total offering to His Father for the glory of His Father? All His words on the Cross are manifestations of His love: love of His Father when He said: "Father, I commend My soul into Your hands"; when He said "All is consummated"; love for his neighbor when He said to the good thief, "Today thou shalt dwell with Me in paradise"; when He gives St. John as a son to His Mother and when He gives His Mother to St. John; it is also to continue the action of His Mother near the Church, near the Apostles. All is love in Our Lord Jesus Christ upon His Cross.

You will love, my dear friends, to meditate, to contemplate the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to live the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, most particularly in the contemplation of the Most Holy Trinity, in this love that you should have for God. Because it is this love which should be the love which will make you love your neighbor. Don't upset the order of ends. The end for which we should love our neighbor is the glory of God, it is love of God, and consequently, it is really the love of God. There is only a definitive love: the Love of God to which relates the love of neighbor.

Oh, be men of prayer, my dear friends; be men of meditation, be men of contemplation! Do not be among those who say: "We are not monks, we are not contemplatives because we are not enclosed in a monastery." What a grave error! Each priest—and each Christian besides—should be a contemplative, should meditate on the great Truths of our holy religion, which are the realities—which represent the realities of heaven, the great realities of heaven and earth. Then—may this sublime part of the Mass encircled with mystery by the silence in which the liturgy envelops it—may this great mystery be the object of your continual meditations.

That is the second part of the Mass: be men of prayer in loving particularly your sanctuaries. Make the sanctuaries in which you pray beautiful, uplifting to souls, conducive to prayer, may all be clean, proper, worthy of the Divine Host Who inhabits the sanctuary. Love the beautiful liturgy, love therefore to uplift souls to the Good Lord by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

By the words of consecration you realize the Sacrifice of Our Lord anew, and you realize also the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And that is the third part of your life: to give Jesus to souls. What an extraordinary mystery—this union of the Sacrifice of Our Lord with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In effect the third part of the Mass will consist of preparing souls to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist and to give them Jesus, the Savior! Can you, my dear friends, give a gift more magnificent, more sublime, to the faithful than Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself? What dignity has the priest to make Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself descend on the altar and then take Him to the faithful, to give Him in all His reality, in all His divinity, to give Him to the faithful. And it is that which is the definitive ideal of the priest: after having preached the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ, after having contemplated Our Lord Jesus Christ on His Cross in his prayers, his role is to give Jesus to souls, to communicate this Victim to souls in such a way that the souls penetrated by the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, penetrated by the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, march courageously towards heaven among all the difficulties, the pains, and the trials of this life.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist, as St. Thomas explains so well, is the center of all the sacraments. From the Sacrament of the Eucharist radiate all other sacraments: they are all made for the Eucharist, to unite us to Jesus Christ—Baptism, Confirmation, the Sacrament of Penance, and the other sacraments, sacraments which sanctify—the Sacrament of Marriage, the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and finally, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction which prepares us for life eternal—all flow from the Eucharist. Therefore in giving the Sacrament of the Eucharist, you give this radiation of grace in souls. Prepare them—these souls—because they receive grace and the Holy Ghost in the measure of their good dispositions. It is, then, the role of the priest to prepare souls to receive the grace of Jesus with the most richness possible. Again, what a beautiful ministry! What beautiful functions are those of a priest! Therefore your life is all radiating the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostolate.

Thank God, my dear friends, that you receive this grace. You are specially chosen for that, distinguished from the laity. The priest is a man who is "assumed," which is taken for becoming a priest, for receiving the priestly consecration. So remain in the choice of Our Lord; be worthy of the choice.

Ask particularly of your good Mother in heaven to be your Protectress, to lead you by the hand, She who is the Mother of the Eternal Priest, she who lived with Him, who prepared Herself for His Sacrifice for thirty-three years. She followed Him. May She follow you also during the years of your priesthood. May She lead you also one day to the definitive union with the Eternal Priest.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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